Public trust declines in govt, media globally; fake news concerns at all-time peak: Study

New Delhi/Davos, Jan 18 (PTI) Public trust in governments and media has declined in the last one year amid the COVID-19 pandemic while concerns about fake news have reached all-time high levels, a global survey showed on Tuesday.

The annual Edelman Trust Barometer report, released every year during the World Economic Forum’s Davos summit, also showed that business has replaced government as the most trusted and is now followed by government and media in that order.

According to the study, 76 per cent respondents globally said they worry about false information or fake news being used as a weapon. While Spain topped this list with 84 per cent, India came in at the fifth place with 82 per cent.

Respondents in the Netherlands, Japan, France, UK and Germany appeared least concerned about fake news.

In terms of the average per cent trust in NGOs, businesses, governments and media among their people, China topped the list and India came in at the fourth place and Russia was at the bottom.

India figured in the top-five also in terms of economic optimism.

With regard to the trust in one’s employer, India was ranked second (90 per cent) after Indonesia (91 per cent) while China was third (89 per cent) and South Korea came in last.

India saw the trust declining in businesses, governments and media while it was unchanged with regard to NGOs.

Respondents from India reposed the highest trust for NGOs globally and the third-highest each towards businesses and media.

On trust in government, India was ranked fifth after China, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

Businesses were found to be more trusted than governments in 23 of 28 countries surveyed.

The survey was conducted with a sample size of more than 31,000 general population and 6,000 informed public globally.